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Imagine an object, which has multiple 'slots', which are used to connect that object with other objects. Except that these are not inward pointing slots but the counter parts called 'tangs' (according to this answer).

How would you describe that object, if it has for example 4 tangs?

In German I would call it 'vier-armig' (roughly translates to 'four-armed') since it has four 'limbs'. But four-armed sounds somewhat strange, especially since armed also means carrying a weapon.

Here is a picture to make things clear:

enter image description here

How would you classify the two objects on the right?

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"Four-armed" is fine, and this usage would not be construed as referring to weaponry.

If you prefer, you could try "n-pronged" or "n-lugged".

It might also be appropriate to refer to "n-way male connectors", with the slot version being female.

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  • Thanks Ian. What would you say is the more common? Eg. if I were to offer the two objects on the right to customers. Would whey say "I choose the 3-armed one" or "I choose the 3-pronged one"?
    – christoph
    Mar 17, 2016 at 11:33
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    @christoph 3-armed sounds more natural because prongs suggests facing the same/similar direction, like prongs on a fork, or focused on the same target, like a multi-pronged attack.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 17, 2016 at 11:43

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